Mayors, Wal-Mart announce innovation fund
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation announced plans Thursday in Washington, D.C., to launch a $10 million U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, where eligible nonprofit organizations can apply for grants of $100,000 or more.
The idea is to help increase U.S. manufacturing.
According to a release from Wal-Mart, the first year of the initiative will focus on innovation in textiles manufacturing and common manufacturing processes that apply to a broad range of consumer goods, including small motor manufacturing and tooling for injection molding. The groups anticipate that research and academic institutions, think tanks and other non-profit entities focused on innovations in manufacturing will receive the grants.
"Through the Wal-Mart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, we hope to help remove the barriers to revitalizing and growing U.S. manufacturing, creating jobs and building a stronger American economy," said Cindi Marsiglio, vice president of U.S. sourcing and domestic manufacturing for the retail giant. "This is part of Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation's broader commitment to foster new ideas and jobs to promote strong communities and grow America's manufacturing footprint."
The company said this is part of a larger commitment for it to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support American manufacturing. The Boston Consulting Group estimates the initiative will add 1 million U.S. jobs.
Applications are due April 22. Information on grants is available at http://www.usmanufacturingfund.com.
"The U.S. Conference of Mayors is committed to helping bring manufacturing jobs back to America's cities, and our partnership with Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation will strengthen our metro economies that drive the national economy," said Tom Cochran, the CEO and executive director of the mayor's group.